Back when it was announced that Final Fantasy X would be seeing an HD release, I, like many others, was extremely excited. All these years later, finally getting to be able to play it… I’m a bit disappointed. Why? Well…
The core game is still here. The combat is still as good and still allows for the strategy making of each individual turn of before. As much as us North Americans “wanted” the Dark Aeons, they really aren’t that special – not compared to the international content of Final Fantasy X-2. They are pretty much just fake difficulty, and so is Penance. The Expert Sphere Grid is shorter than the Standard one, and while yes it allows for more initial freedom, you also cannot stat max as well.
Unfortunately in their attempt to make this game look “HD” they have absolutely ruined the character models. They look stale and emotionless now thanks to this. I absolutely love this game – yes I’m one of those who spent hours upon hours just playing Blitzball – but these character faces look really bad at times. It also isn’t “true” HD, then again rarely are these remasters actually “true” HD. Additionally, the NPCs haven’t really been touched up at all – their flat faces are even more obvious this version and look absolutely terrible next to the new models.
On top of that, they decided to mess with the music. One of the best things about the original, you will likely find yourself crying as what was your favorite track got butchered. They didn’t touch the entire soundtrack but what they did was almost entirely not for the best.
Honestly though, the biggest disappointment about this release is the complete lack of cutscene skips. They were added in for Kingdom Hearts on that HD release, so why weren’t they added in for Final Fantasy X? This game is extremely cutscene heavy and it makes trying to replay through it after having played it so many times when I was younger almost feel like a drag.
So while these things are bad or annoying, there are times where you just flat out can’t notice it – or, shockingly enough, it does actually sometimes look better than before. The old and remastered music are all mixed together – though the “remastered” music will likely stand out in your mind a lot more, it sure does in mine. Also, while the HUD has changed, and at first I was definitely not a fan of it, it has grown on me to actually be pretty good. Well, that is, minus some completely unnecessary battle menu delay.
Now it begs the question as to why is Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster an entirely different HD experience? My Final Fantasy X-2 review will be available tomorrow in part 2 of this 3 part review.
Final Fantasy X HD Remaster Review Score
If you skipped ahead to the score, please go back and read over what I said about the game.
This review is based on the quality of the HD remaster and not the core game. If it were to be based off both, the review score would be higher.
I would like to thank Square Enix for providing me with a copy of the game to play.